On Tuesday, at the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisor meeting, Contra Costa Health Services reported they were seeing a surge in COVID-19 transmission in the county over the past two weeks which includes more than 2,800 new cases.
Dr. Ori Tzvieli called it “concerning” and hospitalizations are 4x what they saw in June with a case rate of 12.8 new cases per 100,000—a week ago it was just 5.3 cases.
“This is very different in the vaccinated versus the unvaccinated versus vaccinated communities. The case rate for unvaccinated residents was 33 as of a week ago and vaccinated was 5.9, so you can see its more than 6x higher in unvaccinated folks,” said Tzvieli.
He called the Delta variant the dominate strain now in the county and the said 82% were delta variant which is consistent with what the CDC is saying. He also said this comes as no surprise with the June 15 reopening.
“We are in the fight against covid for the long haul,” said Tzvieli while calling the vaccine the best chance to fight it.
When looking at the deaths in the county, he said since the vaccine was available, 99.5% of people who died of covid were unvaccinated.
“The vaccine is still the best way,” said Tzvieli while encouraging masking, social distancing, staying home when you are sick and testing for COVID if exposed or have symptoms.
Supervisor John Gioia said he believed they needed to move towards mandatory vaccinations in the appropriate circumstances, within the law.
“We have seen about 80% of residents over 12 have at least 1 vaccine so we are doing pretty well,” said Gioia. “But its really the other 20% who are really fueling the increases. We hear so much misinformation, its so hard to respond to all the misinformation and the noise out there. The message is simple, the current vaccines are effective, they are effective against the delta variant. There is a very low risk of getting ill, serious illness or getting hospitalized if you are vaccinated.”
Supervisor Karen Mitchoff urged the County to move in the direction to have everyone fully vaccinated in order to come back to work for the county.
“If we are asking private enterprise to do that, we need to do that,” said Mitchoff. “Everything I see and read that those who are not vaccinated are creating the problems for the rest of us. While this all boils down to personal choice and we support that concept, this is no longer about personal choice, your personal choice is impacting my health… other than religious or medical there is absolutely no excuse.”
Supervisor Federal Glover called for help from the community to help motivate people to get the vaccine in East Contra Costa County with spikes continuing in the City of Pittsburg, City of Antioch and City of Oakley. He asked the community to contact his office so they can get creative in getting people the vaccine.
“We are at ground zero with these communities and we must turn that around,” said Glover.
Supervisor Diane Burgis called getting people vaccine about meeting people where they are at versus shaming people or guilting them.
“It’s about giving people the easiest access to the vaccine,” said Burgis.
COVID-19 Updated Cases per County Health (As of July 31)
As of Saturday, the total active cases is 3,499 which is a 37% increase over the past two weeks while 130 people are hospitalized, a 60.1% increase.
The city of Antioch continues to have the most COVID-19 cases with 524 over the past week in terms of cases per 100,000.
- Antioch – 524
- Oakley – 186
- Bay Point – 99
- Pittsburg – 252
- Discovery Bay – 51
- Brentwood – 200
- Concord – 315
- Full List: https://cchealth.org/
The county is reporting a total of 834 deaths with 99.0% of those being among unvaccinated.
Burgis Highlights Micro-Shutdowns
“Locally, we may not shut down the county, but there may be pockets of cities or communities where they will have to stay home with their kids and it will have an economic impact,” said Burgis who was in favor of masking and requiring vaccines in certain situations.
With school starting, Burgis asked about COVID-19 cases in schools. Dr. Ori Tzvieli stated if all the kids kept their masks on, they should be okay but if not, they will have to go home and parents will need to quarantine and take time off from work.
The County Superintendents of Santa Clara, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Alameda counties, as well as the City of Berkeley, Friday announced their unified support for full, in-person learning for the 2021-2022 school year.
Addressing Most Vulnerable Communities
Dr. Gilbert Salinas, Chief Equity Officer, said the number of cases are going up and they are now working with a mobile team to host clinics throughout the county—this includes giving over 10,200 shots while hosting 65 pop-up clinics.
Salinas says they have been in the City of Antioch in the Sycamore Corridor and keep returning to this area due to the lowest vaccinate rates in the county. They will continue to focus on Antioch and City of Oakley calling the mobile clinics an important tool to the hardest hit and most vulnerable communities.
Appointments are not required and they also have evening hours.
Contra Costa County Jails Outbreak (Updated)
The cases include deputies, staff, inmates, and medical personnel. The outbreak was in multiple detention facilities.
Editors Note – updated numbers show 96 cases at Martinez Detention Facility, Marsh Creek Detention Facility, and West County Detention Facility.
Brentwood Union Elementary School District Reports Cases
In the first three days of school, the Superintendent Dana Eaton confirmed that 15 staff and students who tested positive for COVID-19 at our eleven schools. This does not mean that students and staff contracted COVID at school. We do not currently have any cases where contact tracing has shown that anyone has contracted COVID at school from a positive individual.
Of the 15 cases, 2 have been confirmed at Loma Vista Elementary and 1 at Eda Hill Middle School– a full list should be released Monday according to Eaton.
Here are the steps that school offices take when a positive case comes in.
- School is notified of positive COVID case
- School Notifies school site Nurse Team representative, district leadership
- Contact tracing occurs in collaboration with Nurse Team
- Personal contact (phone or in person) with all identified close contacts (within 6 feet for 15 minutes)
- Follow up with letter to all close contacts
- Close contacts are placed in appropriate quarantine procedure by school nurse following CDPH guidance and County Health input (if appropriate)
- Cleaning of affected classroom if appropriate as directed by school nurse team and principal
- Notification to all school staff via email
- Notification to all families at entire school via e-mail
We publish a dash board of all cases each week to be as transparent as possible. Our Plan, dash board (updated Mondays for the previous week) and testing resources for family and staff are available on our website on the COVID-19 page.